Book Trailers on YouTube, Facebook: As effective as movie trailers?

Book trailers can be an additional weapon in the arsenal of authors who are exploring unconventional options of promoting their book. Their function is pretty much similar to movie trailers. They generate curiosity about the product and provide a sneak peek into what readers can expect.

Some authors with deep pockets or the backing of a strong publishing house may have high-budget, jazzy book trailers with sound, music, professional actors, special effects, animation, the works. Then there are the low-budget, home-production kind of trailers that avoid all the hype and focus on communicating the message in a simple, funny or emotional manner.

If you have a little bit of creativity and some technical expertise with basic movie making software, it is not too difficult to create a book trailer. In place of professional performers (actors, musicians, production guys), you could just reach out to your friends and family members to see who’s got skills that can be used in your home production. You could use your video camera or the basic software available on your computer to add the lights, sound and action.

Some trailers can go viral if potential readers find something that compels them to share it on social networking sites, blogs, discussion forums and their personal sites. But just like their movie counterparts, the magic formula that separates the successful ones from the pathetic is anybody’s guess. Another risk is if the trailer raises the expectations of the books prospective readers beyond what the book can deliver. Beyond the initial spike in the interest, future sales for the book could take a hit. The reverse is also true. What if readers judge your book not by the cover (or the content), but by the trailer that precedes it. It could go either ways there as well.

The real impact of book trailers on the sales of books can vary considerably. In the long run, most books sell due to word-of-mouth publicity. But book trailers can help in creating the initial awareness for a soon-to-be-released novel or a non-fiction book.

I tried my hand at creating one for my book. Check it out and let me know if it works for or against the book. The voiceover is in Hindi and the humour (if you can call it that) is contextual. But if you don’t understand the language, don’t worry. The script, labels and text are all in English and the format might be familiar 🙂 So you’d still get an idea of what’s happening in there.

If you’ve come across any interesting (the best, worst, funny, stupid) book trailers on YouTube or Facebook, share it in the comments.

17 thoughts on “Book Trailers on YouTube, Facebook: As effective as movie trailers?”

  1. Dear Sameer,
    I want to have a copyright on a technical handbook prepared by me.The topic is based on solar energy.
    While filling a copyright application, I am facing a problem

    What will be the category for this type of book ?
    In copyright application form, I can see only Literary/Dramatic
    Rest others are only for music recordings, translations,broadcasts etc

    Please guide


  2. Sir, i applied for ISBN number..i mentioned my book price Rs.250 but actual price according to printer is Rs.450. i have already submitted my final application to ISBN website. is there any chance to change it? and how to do it? my book page numbers are 655. i applied for the first time and also i am publishing the book for the first time on my own

  3. In Our University The One Shopkeeper Has Scanned the books of Many Publications and He make printout and sells it to Students.
    Is This Legal?

  4. Hello Sameer,
    I have written my first book and forward it for the copyright and it is under process. so my question is, Can i approach publishers? is my work is safe if i go without getting copyright certificate in my hand or should i wait for the it. I talked to copyright office, and they said that i have to wait 7 to 8 months.

  5. I have been reading your blog for quite some time. I have written a book on Partition of India, wherein I have provided evidence to show that India was not partitioned because of Congress or Jinnah but by the British themselves. There is a chapter on Kashmir which describes the Kashmir imbroglio in detail. Please help and advice me how to get this book published by traditional publishing and if an agent is required whom should I approach please please help me.

  6. Hi
    I am a first time writer .I have completed a manuscript of a travelogue.Its tentatively titled Motorcycle Diaries in Spiti Valley of a Reluctant Rider
    I am an avid royal enfied bullet rider
    Its a 23 day ride with 23 chapters ,foreword etc
    How can I publish this book
    Please let me know

  7. I am an Indian local Publisher based on Delhi. I want to be a National and an International Publisher. What are the criteria and process?

  8. Hi Sameer
    I am Saurabh Anshu.i am working on fiction its, almost done and some publishers asked to submit the sample chapter, detailed synopsis, concept note etc.
    The challenge is I am not able to understand how to write plot of story, synopsis and summary.i am confused and from last 15 days i stuck in preparing the plot .i want to know is copyright is necessary.

  9. Hi Sameer ,have you heard about suhail mathur the book bakers agent and author.He asks for upfront 15000 rs and sign contract but I am not sure of his credentials because then publishing house like locksley hall say traditional publishing and then they say you have to pay for cover page design and editing services which would again cost me around 20-25 k so totally i pay close to 40-50 k and they do almost no marketing and partridge publishing house take direct 25k and do it ? what would you suggest !

  10. Dear Sameer Kamath.

    Namaskar from Udupi,

    I am writing a book on Solar Cookers, which is almost complete.

    It will have about 256 pages, 12 chapters, lot of color photos and images, and about 55,000 words.

    I want it ti be professionally edited.

    Please let me know as to how much it would cost.

    Thanking you,

  11. Dear Sameer,

    You might not have heard of the book ” Chandrakanta Santati”. It is in seven volumes running into more than 1600 pages. It was written by Devaki Nandan Khatri and published between 1888 and 1904. It is the first mystery book in Hindi. It was found so gripping that many persons learnt Devanagari script just to read this book. I have almost finished translating this book into English. I am yet to find a publisher. I have written to five six publishers and literary agents. None of them has responded except Mita Kapur who has shown some interest. She has asked for the complete first volume which I will be sending soon. I could not find her track record on her site Siyahi.

    Any suggestions ?


  12. Hi Sameer,

    Good Day!

    For a book title. do I need a trademark or copyright?

    If trademark, then whats the process.

  13. Hello,
    I’m a school-goer teen, barely sixteen and am writing a novel. It is not yet complete but should I send the sample chapters to various literary agents?
    Thank you for your help.

  14. Hi sameer,
    I have have written a very good novel for the first time and I am waiting to publish it, I have gone through many literary agent and publisher but unfortunately I havnt received any response, I received many bad reviews from many self publishing company
    So I would like to know is it OK to publish my first novel througha particular printing press by self and distribute it through novel distributers ?

  15. hey, I am just writing my first book right now. it’s a fantasy fiction. I wanted to know if it will be good to publish the book in the traditional way which I don’t consider too old fashioned, or going with the heard with self-publishing. please reply. All your little support can enlighten my journey in a great way.


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